A Tale of Smoothies and Smooches

Mondo Juice Megamall

Mondo Juice Megamall

So called ‘fruit juice bars‘ and ‘smoothie stands‘ have sprouted around the metro in the recent years, trying to ride on the “healthy lifestyle” bandwagon. But only very few can claim to serve an all-natural, real fruit smoothie without added sugar, syrup or sweeteners – that’s Mondo Juice.

Being a ‘Megamall guy,’ I’ve been passing by Mondo Juice in SM Megamall for so long as I can remember. But it was only recently that I actually tried it upon the prodding of my fiance who have tried and blogged about Mondo Juice way back in mid-2011.

Mondo Juice Fruit Smoothie

Mondo Juice Fruit Smoothie

And so I tried, and regretted it. I regret why it was only now that I gave-in to my fiance’s recommendation to try Mondo Juice. 🙂

We came from a full-house Starbucks shop so I eventually agreed to her suggestion of trying Mondo Juice as I always welcome the thought of trying restaurants I have never been to.

Mondo Juice branch interior

Mondo Juice branch interior

Mondo Juice High-Powered Blenders

Mondo Juice High-Powered Blenders

My Order #1: Blushing Mango & Turkey Pesto

Mango has always been one of my favorite fruits so I decided to go ‘safe‘ and chose the “Blushing Mango” from the Premium Fruit Smoothie category. It costs P135 for the solo size and P180 for the ‘Mondo‘ (big) size.

The other smoothie categories were ‘Homegrown, ‘Buzz Smoothies‘, and ‘Exotic‘, among others.

I was also offered add-on options such as yogurt, oatmeal, soy milk, and honey whose prices ranged from Php 15 to Php 35. As much as I would like to have those healthy add-ons, I decided to have the smoothie as it is. I wanted to know how it fares without the extras.

Blushing Mango Smoothie

Blushing Mango Smoothie

Hungry as I was, I ordered a Turkey Pesto sandwich to match my smoothie. The smoked turkey breast slices were calling out to me complete with the green peppers and rustic pesto in between two Italian herb Focaccia breads. 🙂

As so it was served.

My Blushing Mango smoothie came in a transparent cup where you can see all the goodness of the fruit and pulp (no rinds/roots), and an informative sticker at the back. Mine turned-out to be a blend of mangoes, respberries, and nectar amounting to 3.5 big servings of fruit hitting upto 140% of my vitamin C need.

I had my first ‘sip‘ and I can almost feel the toxins flushed down. 🙂

Turkey Pesto Sandwich

Grilled Turkey Pesto Sandwich

Her Order #1: Mango Magic with Ham & Cheese

Not to be outdone, my Mondo Juice advocate and fiance named Marjorie ordered her all-time favorite ‘homegrown‘ fruit smoochie smoothie called Mango Magic (P125 Solo). She partnered it with the traditional – Ham & Egg sandwich.

Based on the back sticker label, the magic in her Mango Magic is a mix of mangoes, nectar, and orange juice with a whooping 161% of vitamin C! It goes further saying “the only thing fresher grows on a tree.” 🙂 With the 1/3 pound of fruit in each Mondo Jucie cup, the recommended five servings of fruit daily has just been met!

And without hesitation, she made her ‘sip‘ and said “ahhh.”

Mango Magic

Mango Magic with Ham & Cheese Sandwich

My Order #2: Blueberry Bonanza + Kiwi Fruit & Jello

An hour after, needless to say, we wanted more. Round 2 was imminent.

I then consulted the sales crews and asked which one is their bestseller. The unanimous answer was the “Blueberry Bonanza“! Again from the premium fruit smoothie category, it had the same price as my first one at P135 per ‘solo size‘ order and P180 for the Mondo.

BBlueberry Bonanza Smoothie

Blueberry Bonanza Smoothie

Mondo Juice Jello

Mondo Juice Jello

Adventurous as I am, a group of jello encased in interestingly hard plastic containers on the left side of the display piqued my curiosity. I browsed through and selected the Kiwi Fruit & Jello over the Lychee and Mandarin Orange-infused ones.

Kiwi Fruit & Jello

Kiwi Fruit & Jello

On first sip, I already knew why the Blueberry Bonanza is the bestseller. The natural blend of blueberries, mangoes, bananas, and cranberry juice was harmonious. You have to try it for yourself.

The Kiwi fruit & jello was fine with good kiwis and jello fruit juice. It’s something different for a change. I think the kids will love it too. For something healthy, parents out there should seriously consider this as a snack for their kids.

Her Order #2: Proteinzone Super Smoochie Smoothie

From the start, I never doubted she would take seconds for Mondo Juice.

My Mondo Marjorie scanned through the menu board for quite a while similar to how she scans through dresses, gowns, shoes, and bags while shopping in department stores.

I was afraid.

Three mondo minutes after, she finally exclaimed: “I think I will try something different this time!

I was even more afraid.

Ready to face my fears, I gathered enough courage and asked her straight to the point: “What’s your order as the cashier is waiting?”

She looked at me intensely into the eye and finally said … that she wanted to try the Proteinzone Super Smoothie booster (P145/solo;185 /Mondo). In the same category are the ‘Detox‘ & ‘Power-Up‘ smoothies.

My Mondo Model: Marjorie (with her Proteinzine Smoothie)

My Mondo Model: Marjorie (with her Proteinzine Smoothie)

Proteinzone Back Sticker Label

Proteinzone Back Sticker Label

Surprisingly, on the other hand, she’s passing up the sandwich and hinted to share with my Kiwi jello instead; which is not a problem of course. 😛

The smoochie smoothie finally came and it turned out to be a concoction of raspberries, bananas, nectar, cranberry juice, a shot of soy protein at 4g and fiber of 2.35g per serving! (I don’t know what’s the standard, but it impressed upon me that it’s much!) 🙂

Sip‘!

Completing the menu board of Mondo Juice are fresh pressed juice, hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. Other cold drinks include iced coffee, brewed ice tea, and lemonade.

There are even honeyed nuts and mango cashew nuts available by the counter.

Her Proteinzone and Mango Magic!

Her Proteinzone and Mango Magic!

The Mondo Juice Advocate & NomNom

The Mondo Juice Advocate & NomNom

Undoubtedly, it was a no-fuss afternoon of all-natural fruit smooches smoothies with my fiance at Mondo Juice Megamall where we can drink it straight, without the sugar and syrup bait.

So where were the ‘smooches‘ in the story? It went in-between ‘sips‘. 🙂

Vegan Option w/ Starbucks New Lunch Sandwiches

I’m not a vegetarian but I do chow on vegetables for health reasons. I include it in my meal whenever possible. Last night, it was a pleasure to discover that one of the new seven Starbucks Lunch Sandwiches – the Roasted Vegetables on Flat Bread -  is positioned as a healthy vegetarian sandwich for the ‘veggy‘ lovers.

Roasted Vegetables in Flat Bread

Roasted Vegetables in Flat Bread

I wasn’t really expecting much from the vegetable sandwich but it was surprisingly good! The Roasted Vegetables Sandwich will replace the vegetable artisan roll you might have been used to. It consists of Mediterranean vegetables marinated in Italian spices with mild chili dressing on grilled flat bread.  The chili is interestingly mild just enough to put a twist to the fare.

To complete your healthy meal, pair it with the Green Tea Latte (no whip, of course) and go for soy.

6 Other New Lunch Sandwiches

Starting August 9, Starbucks will introduce these new hot lunch sandwiches catering to those looking for filling meals during lunch time. Prepared in less than 5 minutes, it is best suitable for  people on-the-go.

Aside from the Roasted Vegetables sandwich above, the first three which will be available in all Starbucks Philippines branches are the following:

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

It’s a grilled cheese sandwich made with six types of cheeses such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Feta, Provolone, Mozarella, and cheddar.

Although half of those cheeses sounds alien to me, it ended up good to the taste. On the other hand, the premium cheeses might cater only to the more mature taste buds who can appreciate high quality cheeses. It also comes with slices of Hungarian sausages in between and seasoned with roasted garlic and Italian herb-ed butter on bread.

Roasted Chicken Pesto

The roasted chicken breast fillet comes with Shitake mushrooms and pesto mayo sauce topped with Emmenthal and cheddar cheese in between grilled flat breads. The breast fillet are juicy and the pesto mayo is really aromatic.

This is actually the only one retained from the previous lunch sandwiches menu. And there’s a great reason why this is so. 🙂

Roasted Chicken Pesto Sandwich (left) Beef Brisket Sandwich (right)

Roasted Chicken Pesto Sandwich (left) Beef Brisket Sandwich (right)

Beef Brisket

Emmenthal cheese covering slices of beef brisket with caramelized onions and Dijon mustard constitute this sandwich. The beef brisket itself was fairly ‘ok’ last night but I think I need to try this again before I give it a final verdict.

— o —

The last three new sandwiches are available in select Starbucks branches in the Philippines:

The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse Sandwich

The Clubhouse Sandwich

It’s the usual chicken clubhouse you know…with ham, cheese, pickle relish, mayo mustard dressing, tomato and greens, among others, on flat cranberry bread.

It’s available in all Starbucks branches except Baguio, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, CDO, Davao, Iloilo and Naga.

Tuna Waldorf

Tuan Waldorf

Tuan Waldorf

Tuna Waldorf is a classic tuna salad with red and green apples, walnuts, and celery in yogurt mayo dressing topped with hard-boiled eggs served in raisin walnut bread.

This one’s a filler and will surely be loved by those with good appetite and good taste.

It’s available in all Starbucks branches except Baguio, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, CDO, Davao, Iloilo and Naga.

Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt

It’s a tuna salad with melted cheese on roasted Rye bread topped with mozzarella and seasoned wtih Spanish paprika.

This is the rarest among them all available only in selected provincial branches and the only one reachable by land from Metro Manila – is Starbucks Baguio. The other branches that carry this is Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, CDO, Davao, Iloilo, and Naga only.

Starbucks Lunch Sandwiches

Starbucks Lunch Sandwiches

NomNom Recommends

After perseveringly trying all of the seven sandwiches last night for the benefit of my readers 🙂 , I recommend these top three in no particular order (parang beauty pageant lng) :

  • Roasted Vegetables on Flat Bread
  • Roasted Chicken Pesto on Flat Bread (there’s a strong reason why this one was retained)
  • Tuna Waldorf in Raisin Walnut Bread

 So, a day after my birthday on August 8, you can immediately try these new Starbucks Lunch Sandwiches. But if you are the scrimpy-type like me, you can wait for August 15 and 16 where all Starbucks branches will have a P50 off promo on all these lunch sandwiches I have mentioned upon purchase of any Starbucks beverage except service water. 😛